Each year thousands are killed in pedestrian accidents all over the United States. Orange County has many wonderful downtown and tourist areas that are heavily populated with pedestrians. Just as motorists need to remain cautious and vigilant in areas where pedestrians are walking, pedestrians too should exercise due care and follow the rules of the road in order to prevent tragic collisions. Almost always, when there is a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian, it is the pedestrian who is severely injured. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a dangerous roadway or by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, please contact an experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorney to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
Orange County Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to California Highway Patrol's 2009 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 41 fatalities and 864 injuries involving pedestrian accidents in Orange County. Anaheim had the highest number of pedestrian accident-related fatalities at eight deaths in 2009. Also, during that same year, the city of Santa Ana had the highest number of pedestrian accident-related injuries – 145.
Pedestrian Accident Laws
Crosswalk laws: Under California Vehicle Code Section 21950 (a), motorists are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians who are walking in marked or unmarked crosswalks. The same section also states: "This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk."
Motorists' responsibility: Even when pedestrians are not crossing in a crosswalk or are jaywalking, it does not excuse a driver from exercising due care. California Vehicle Code Section 21954 states: "Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard." The same section also states: "The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway."
Right-of-Way: Drivers pulling out of public or private driveways must yield right-of-way to pedestrians and oncoming vehicles. According to California Vehicle Code Section 21804 (a): "The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic." Vehicles entering traffic "shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety."
Common Pedestrian Accident Causes
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Orange County include:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Running a red light
- Dangerous roadway or intersection
Pedestrians often suffer serious injuries in collisions such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones and internal injuries. When a pedestrian accident is caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, injured victims can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation and pain and suffering.
The experienced Orange County pedestrian accident attorneys at Bisnar | Chase have helped injured pedestrian accident victims seek compensation for their injuries, damages and losses. We will fight for your rights and ensure that justice is served. Please call us at 1-800-561-4887 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.
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